Friday, March 21, 2008

The Future

After a lot of prayer and discussion with lots of people, we have made a few big decisions about the immediate future. First, I have decided to withdraw from my residency program. This was not an easy decision, but I feel like I need to spend as much time with Joe and the rest of the fam as possble. Second, we have decided that it would be best for the family if we moved to Nashville closer to both sets of grandparents. Although we have fantastic friends here in Atlanta, nothing beats having family close by who love our children as much as we do. We are planning on moving pretty quickly, by the middle of April. Gillian's parents have a house in Franklin that they rent that they will be letting us stay in, and it is very close to both our parents. Thank you, Nana and Grandad! So these are pretty big changes, but we really feel like both decisions are what is best for Joseph and for the rest of us. I will try to find a teaching job for the next school year, but if that doesn't work, I will open up an underground unlicensed doctor's office.
Joseph is doing well. He loved our time at the beach but was ready to come home and play with his friends. The radiation has finally taken a lot of his hair which was really hard to watch, but I think most of what is going to fall out has already fallen. They say that it should grow back, but there is a chance that it could be permanent. He and Holly have already had one easter egg hunt with their friends and there could be two more, so we'll post some pictures after that happens.
We hate to leave our friends in Atlanta, but in dealing with all of this we are going to need our families to provide a lot of help for a long time. Please pray for us through these changes, that I will be able to find a job quickly, that the move will go well, that Joseph would start sleeping better at night, and that the transition to a new city would be smooth.


Anonymous said...

The Booth family checks this blog daily to see how everyone is doing. I'm sure that it was and continues to be difficult watching Joe's hair fall out, but he is such a fighter, what a blessing that is. We will keep you guys in prayer, and even though this may sound weird as we have never met you guys before, we truly have a love for your family. We care so much about you guys! We will continue to pray.
Randi Booth

Anonymous said...

YEAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't wait for you to be in Nashville! Now I can finally see you more often! I am SOOOOOOOOOOO pumped!!!! I can keep your kids...we can swap can come play...YIPPEEE!!!!! Let us know if we can help you move. Love you!

paige said...

That is really a big transition. We will pray that it will go as smoothly as possible. THanks for keeping us updated.

Brea said...

Wow, it's so hard for me to imagine Atlanta without you guys here. What clear provision from God of a place to live so close to both sets of grandparents! Yet, my heart is heavy at this news. You will be sorely missed by all your friends here!

We continue to ask the Lord constantly for Joseph's healing.

Kelly said...

Emory will not be the same without you. I am thankful that I got a chance to work with you, and I will continue to pray for you and your family. I am so encouraged by your faith throughout everything. And, I am continuing to pray for God's miraculous healing and peace for your family
Take care,
Kelly Lathem

nana said...

Hey Peabodys! We just returned to Brentwood, where we were greeted by a nice meal cooked by sam! We had a blast with yall down in Nicaragua. Can't wait to see you in a few weeks! Joseph, I hope you are still teaching Holly to be obedient like her older brother... no more "no ma'ms"! We, as well as Jon, missed having yall around the last few days... the beach house was very quiet. I know little Jillian and Skyler look forward to play with you in Nashville!
Can't wait to see you soon... sleep sound in Jesus.

Lots of love,
nana, grandad, sam and davey

Christy said...

Blast and wretch. And Heinzfeet just rubbing it in our Atlantan faces like that ... it's disgusting.

Seriously, it's clearly where you need to be. We're going to miss you terribly and pray you move back this way again some day. And I'll, of course, be making regular trips to score free drugs from Allen's underground med office.

We'll continue to pray for everything, including Joseph's eye and that his hair will grow back soon (but, you know, in the meantime it looks pretty artsy).

Courtney said...

I don't blame you at all for wanting and needing to be in the same city as your extended families. I'm sure the quick change will be tough, but it will bring unrivaled comfort and support. There's nothing better than having family in the same town. I'm praying for you all with all this. Your continued bravery and devotion astound me.

-Courtney S.

Allison & Jeff said...

Hi Allen & Gillian,

To still have never met you all, I have a lot to say tonight, so sorry this will be so long! :)

1. I am thrilled that you all had fun at the beach!!! I stay updated with Randy Pausch's health blog (if you have never heard of him you would enjoy reading it as well) and one of the many things that I have learned from him is that creating memories with your children is sooo important, whether you are facing a health crisis or not. Life here on earth tomorrow is never guaranteed for any of us. I am thrilled you all were able to have a fun time together as a family - goodness knows you deserve it!

2. While I have continued to read your blog to stay updated on Joseph, I haven't posted as much in the last month or so because since we haven't ever actually met it felt like all I could ever say was we are praying. I know you can never really say it too much but it still felt redundant, so as things started to improve for you all some I started reading without always posting. But I want you to know that your family has always remained in our hearts and prayers, and will continue to do so.

3. I am thrilled for you (and your parents!!) that you are moving to Franklin. I can't imagine what a difficult decision it was to make, but I know that they will all love having you here and you will enjoy being so close to them. We are also here in Franklin so we look forward to hopfully meeting you in person and if there is EVER anything we can do to help you we would love to.

4. (and last!) I read Daily Guideposts devotionals and the devotion for yesterday was by Scott Walker and it made me think of you all. It said:

"On the night when Jesus shared the Passover with His disciples he told them to abide. When I was in seminary, I studied the Gospel of John with the world-renowned English scholar George Beasley-Murray. I'll never forget the day he taught us the meaning of the word abide."

"The rood meaning of abide," he said, "is like sitting down in a forest, placing your back against a great oak tree, and letting your entire weight rest or abide against its stout trunk. To abide is like laying down on a bed and letting your full weight sink into its softness until your are enveloped by sleep and rest."

(Then Scott continues) "Recently I visited a young woman, the mother of four children, who is enduring the ravages of advanced cancer. After we talked for a while, I asked her if I could pray with her. Holding her hand, I asked God to give her the ability to abide in His care. When I finished praying, she looked up and asked me, 'Scott, what does it mean to abide in something?' I told her what Dr. Beasley-Murray had taught me about the word."

"Now when I visit her in her hospital room, she grins and throws her arms out across the mattress and says, I'm abiding as best I can."

Your family always remains in our prayers. We are praying for complete and total healing of the tumor in Joseph's brain as well as the damaged nerve, and we pray that you will be able to abide in His care.

We hope you have a blessed Easter and safe travels to Franklin!

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you and praying for all the requests. We pray that Joseph sleeps well tonight and that you all get a good night's rest. Jennifer and Winnie Kate will be leaving tomorrow and I'll go to school to get ready for Monday. Matt came over last night to eat with us and watch some of the NCAA games. Thank goodness UT won today! We were worried for a while there.
Have a blessed Easter. Love, Mimi and Big Daddy

suzanne morris said...

No more airport pickups?!
It makes perfect sense, but it is still hard to see you go. Thank you for this blog that helps us feel connected to you and your life even though in reality we rarely see each other.
Having had a child in your class before, I know the kids in Tennessee will love having you for a teacher.
We are so thankful for your brief time at Intown school because that is how we first came to know and love you and your expanding family.

Exodus 23:20 See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.

May you have many happy times in this new place God has prepared for you.

We miss you already!!

Suzanne, for all the Morris family

The Johnson Kids said...

The best of luck to you. I know you are making the right decision and we will continue to pray for you as a family and specifically for little Joseph and his continued healing.

Much love and prayers.


Anonymous said...

Thinking of you guys. What a hard decision to discontinue the residency program that must have been. It's staggering to think about all that is happening with your family right now. I suspect that all things considered, being close to your family in Nashville will make all this so much more bearable. We continually pray for little Joseph and your family and will keep doing so. Thanks for the update. love -the cunninghams

Anonymous said...

Many, many prayers from the Matthews in Memphis.

The Dogs said...

Happy March Madness! Sounds like your life has taken on its own kind of March Madness. My husband, Dave, and our little boy, Will, and I pray for you guys regularly. The blog you recently left sounds so peaceful. That is very encouraging. We will keep praying!

Em'ly Owens

Pete, Alison and Charlie said...

Hello! I found your blog a month or so ago, and have been checking in regularly to see how things are going for Joe. He really is a little superstar. Our four-year-old, Charlie also has health issues albeit of a different kind(major congenital heart defect) but continues to amaze us. Wow - what a lot of big decisions you have made - we'll be hoping and praying that all the transitions go really smoothly, and will be checking in for updates! Take care, with love from us all in Cardiff, UK.

Mommy to those Special Ks said...

Praying for a safe move for all of you, I'm excited you all are moving to Nashville! Will Joseph's medical care be done at Vanderbilt now? We pray for you all every day!
God bless!
Renee & Kennedy
(A Vandy Hem/onc family)

Nana said...

Hello little Peabodys and big Peabodys!!How are those Easter Egg Hunts going???I bet there are no Eggs left anywhere in Atlanta I bet that underground Doctor and his wife have got them all! We came home to see all our flowers blooming and even some of our bushes...I have always loved Springtime..I am glad to hear that Joe P. is now going to sleep all by himself!!way to go Joe you are the best.You are the best big brother teaching Holly-Bear how to be good and obedient like you!!!We all miss you tons and tons and I wish I was in the pool with you so you could pull me round and round David and John missed you on the beach they dug some big holes and made some nice big castles they missed you putting the flag on top!!..Ephesians3;14-19..says "May the Father, from whom his family in heaven and on earth derives its name,out of his glorious riches strengthenyou with power through his Spirit in your innermost being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith,that you being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.Happy Easter..This is the day the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it..Sleep sound in Jesus..Lots of love and hugs and kisses..Nana Grandad Sam and Davey

Anonymous said...


I'd love to go to lunch when you get to town. Please give me a call. 260-3891


Margaret said...

Happy Easter Peabody's. Lots of new beginnings for you this Easter! I don't think anyone is surprised by any of your decisions, difficult as they are. It is easy to see how faith and logic led you to them. Though we will miss you dearly in Atlanta, your family is so supportive and how wonderful to be so close to them.
My housewarming gift for you in TN is going to be an air mattress that I can sleep on when I come visit!

Anonymous said...

Goodmorning! Happy Easter! We have so much to be thankful for this blessed Easter. I bet Holly and Joseph have chocolate all over their faces!!

To all of Allen, Gillian, Joseph, and Holly's friends in Atlanta. Our home is always opened for you to stay in when you come and visit the Peabody's. You all have loved our family so well through the good times and the difficult times. Know that we are truly grateful for you! We thank God for the dear friends He provided who carried and continue to carry our family through your prayers, your hospitality and your love.
Much love,
Allen's parents, Rick and Kathy

heidi r weimer said...

Praying for you all still and believing still for miracles and strength beyond understanding.

Peace and hope,
the weimers

Katie Lazas said...

What a blessing it will be to be in Nashville so close to family!
I know there are lots of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends here, but please please if you need a babysitter or ANYTHING.. I'm here! :)
God brings you guys to my thoughts and prayers daily. Please know that Joe and all of you continue to be lifted up every single day!

Katie Lazas

Jody (atlanta) said...

Happy Easter Peabody's. I was sending up tons of prayers for you all during mass this morning. We will miss you terribly here in Atlanta, but know that the move to be closer to extended family and focus on your family is the logical and loving option for you all. We will just have to visit lots. When can we throw you a going away party here in Atlanta? You each have touched my life and Abigail's life so much....true blessings. I love you! Jody

William Loeffel said...

Just know that out of sight is NOT out of mind. We love you and will continue to pray for you all.

William, Jaime, Liam, and Reed

Anonymous said...

Praying for you all as you make the transition to Nashville. I love keeping up with the blog and it sounds like you all had a wonderful time in Florida. Much love to you guys!

Chas and Catherine

Carolyn & Dave said...

I know that must have been a hard decision. I'll be praying for the transition.

Boothe Farley said...

we are praying... we haven't forgotten you all. i know each day is its own lifetime, in some ways... and that's how we should all live. so glad you will be back in nashville and that we can perhaps see you sometime. sellers prays consistently for joseph and i know she would love to meet him. but whether or not that ever happens - i know life is crazy and you are loved by many - just know we continue to pray for good prognosis and that you will be encouraged and filled with peace. what a neat thing to see those beautiful babies on the beach.

with love-
conor, boothe and sellers

Nana said...

Well I cant believe it tried to snow in Atlanta!!It tried to snow here also without too much success I'm very glad its dry and the sun is shining here in Music City.Joe P. you are the best sleeping all night long last night !!David had a day off school to-day and is playing golf with Grandad they cant wait for Allen to get here and have another game with him!!!We are counting the days till you comePsalm 121:5-8, says "The Lord watches over you- the Lord is your shade at your right hand;the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.The Lord will keep you from all harm;he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore."We love you tons and tons and miss you a lot.Enjoy the rest of the day!!This is the day the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it.Joe P. sleep sound in Nana Grandad and Davey

jane said...

we will miss y'all so much... but it will be such a blessing to be with family. we will continue to pray for y'all as these plans flesh out. and, of course, sweet little joseph will stay in our prayers.
-the boutwells

Anonymous said...

UGh... I don't know how I missed this news, but I'm teary at the thought of you guys not being in Atlanta and at Intown. But I know the Lord has lead you and you are doing the right thing for your family. I know it must have been a tremendously hard decision for Allen to leave the residency program, but I am so thankful for your commitment to your family and your perspective on it all -- you are an example to all of us! Thank you! We will miss you so much. Thank you for allowing us to walk with you through your suffering and teaching us through it. You are loved!
Susie for the Fikses

Anonymous said...

Praying for a great night's sleep for Joseph and all of you. Praying for strength as you start packing up your household and peace to reign in your hearts.
We love you and are thinking about you constantly. Mimi & Big Daddy
"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned, struck down, but not destroyed...His joy is my strength."

Anonymous said...

You don't know me, but I am friends with Ashley Pearman here in Dominica. My name is Denise Hires. I check this blog everyday to see how Joseph doing. He is like a part of my family now. I know it has been a long journey, but if anyone can perform a miracle, God can!! Your family continues to be in my thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

We continue to pray for you daily. We love you guys and are so grateful that you continue to keep us posted. This is a really big decision for you. Thank you for sharing it with us all. You are both amazing parents, and your family inspires us so often.

blessings to you in this transition....

keely, josh & salem

Anonymous said...

Welcome back to Franklin. We only know you through your blog (which I found through Boothe's blog)and have been praying for you guys. Good luck with the job- I am a teacher in Williamson County and I don't know if you are looking for that kind of teaching position but go ahead and look on the website -jobs are being posted. I hope all goes well with the move, the job and Joseph continues to heal!!! Prayers and love for all of you.

Anonymous said...

We know this decision was very difficult to make. Our prayers continue for Joseph and family. We look forward to seeing you in the near future.
kissell family

Anonymous said...

Would you consider making house calls?:) The old fashioned kind with the big black bag of tricks for the kiddos. We will keep praying.
Bob and Kellie
Lauren, Sean, and Riley

Jean Joiner said...

we love you guys and will miss you terribly. we'll continue to be in prayer for joseph and for your family. try to get back to atlanta to visit sometimes. :)

Jennifer said...

Allen, a couple of career ideas to consider if you can't find a teaching job;

1. The circus. Wasn't that your life's ambition at one point?

2. Martha's Thirst sings again - hey - maybe it wasn't a smash in Knoxville, but Nashville.... who knows?

3. Rec World. Maybe you could man the go-carts instead of wiping excrement from the arcade floor.

Hope that helps. And we will be happy to visit your underground Dr.'s office. Will you be performing any plastic surgery?

Seriously - love you guys so much. Can't wait to have you SO much closer. So happy you have made this choice. Love, Jenny PB

Anonymous said...

My class continues to pray for Joseph 3 times a day. Once in the morning when school starts,the second time is before lunch, and lastly at the end of the school day. One of my students said that she turned Joseph's name in at her church and on Sunday everyone in the church prayed for him. The class is excited that you are moving to Franklin and they want to know if Joseph and Holly can come visit them at school every day!
Praying for a restful night! We love you, Mimi & Big Daddy

Anna Tester said...

Gillian, okay this is what i get for being out of town! But what wonderful news! I have been with my family for a week and get one more with them and what strength they give us. You all are in our hearts and prayers. xo anna

Dave said...

Frankly, this doesn't help us in Birmingham one lick. At least everyone in Atlanta and Nashville has had/will have time near you guys...In fact, now you are 3 hours away instead of 2. But, we understand it would have been a hard sell to have you guys move to Birmingham for no other reason than to be near the Merrymans! Allen, I will be dropping off my girls at the Atlanta airport on April 5; will you guys still be in town? If so, I would love to spend some time before you head to Nashville. Or, I can help you pack if need be. Call me. Dave.

Anonymous said...

My thoughts are with you. Check your toolshed for a few moving supplies.
Melissa Kornfeld

Tiffany C. said...

praying for your transition,
and continued prayer for sweet little Joseph..

Lisa Allen said...

We will keep praying for complete and miraculous healing for Joseph. We'll miss you in Atlanta, but it sounds like Nashville is the place you guys need to be. Our prayers will continue to be with you.

Bill, Lisa, and Tripp Allen

Anonymous said...

Allen & Gil - We're praying for you as you say farewell to your Atlanta family. We know your families here are looking forward to seeing you & helping out we're thankful you have a place here waiting for you.
During this time of transition we'll continue to pray for God's grace to be sufficient for each & every moment.
We love you and look forward to seeing you,
Scott & Linda

Chipper said...

Moving is always bittersweet. It must be really exciting to come to be so close to family, but leaving a home and friends is always hard. Amy and I will be praying for the move to go smooth. I would love to help move you all in. Amy and I live near Brentwood, so we're close. Shoot me an e-mail if I can help.

Chipper said...

Forgot e-mail...

Chloe said...

hey, i love the videos and the pics, i feel like i haven't been visiting in ages, so it was nice to get a big update like that. i know where to go now when in need of superhero powers or backstreet cures that no one else can provide...
hope you're all doing well, can't say enough how brave you are and how much you are in my thoughts... lots of love hugs kisses and special mention to the superfoot/shoe -- love it!!! i laughed out loud at that one.

Pam King said...

I just read about your move to Nashville. I think that's wonderful news! I am very happy for you and your parents - Joseph's grandparents. You all need to be together in this.

Like Allison & Jeff, I have been reading your blog and praying, but not always posting. Please know that when you get moved, there are many at Christ Community who would like to know how we can be of support to your family.

John and Sue Burch said...

Allen and Gill - and of course little Joseph... we will be asking your Heavenly Father who knows you so well and knows exactly what each of you need - to go before you, prepare the way, provide just what you need and assure you of His constant presence and love for you! I know that friends will miss you in Atlanta, but grandparents, aunts, uncles cousins and more friends await!!! Trusting Jesus to be there with you through the transition - give each other a lot of grace and patience as you make this move...

Praying - John and Sue Burch MTW - now in Puerto Rico